Chapter 1: Driver Licenses

Chapter One - Driver Licenses

Topics:

Note:  Practice quizzes are available only for those sections of the manual covering rules of the road (Chapters 4 through 11 and Road Signs).

 You must have a valid driver license to drive legally in New York State. If you reside in and hold a valid license from another state or nation, you can drive legally in New York State. However, even if you are licensed somewhere else, people under age 16 cannot drive in New York State.

Drivers who have moved here must turn in their out-of-state driver license and get a New York license within 30 days of becoming a permanent resident. In most cases, it is illegal to hold a New York driver license and a driver license from another state at the same time. It is also a violation of Federal and state law to hold more than one commercial driver license (CDL).

It is a crime to alter or forge any motor vehicle document, including a driver license. This may cause suspension or revocation of the driver license and criminal prosecution resulting in a fine or imprisonment.



Types of Licenses

 New York State recognizes six types of non-commercial driver licenses. The information in this chapter applies to passenger car and motorcycle licenses. Information about commercial driver licenses can be found in the Commercial Driver’s Manual (CDL-10). Print copies are available at any motor vehicle office. You must have a CDL if you drive any vehicle that:

  • Has a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds (11,794 kg); or
  • Has a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of more than 26,000 pounds (11,794 kg), including any towed unit with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg); or,
  • Is made or used to carry 15 or more persons, in addition to the driver; or,
  • Regardless of seating capacity, is defined as a bus by Article 19-A of the Vehicle and Traffic Law (including vehicles that carry school children or disabled people); or,
  • Carries hazardous materials required by federal law to contain a placard.


The non-commercial driver licenses in this manual are:

Operator, Class D - Minimum age is 18, or age 17 with a driver education Certificate of Completion (see Driver Education later in this chapter). Allows you to drive a vehicle with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds (11,794 kg) or less; to tow a vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg) or less; or tow a vehicle of more than 10,000 pounds if the gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of the two vehicles together is no more than 26,000 pounds (11,794 kg). You can also operate Class B and C mopeds with this driver license.

Junior Operator, Class DJ - Minimum age is 16. Allows you to drive a vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg) or less, and tow a vehicle of 3,000 pounds (1,361 kg) or less. You can also operate Class B and C mopeds with this driver license. Please note you are limited with where, when, and with whom you can drive – please refer to the section of this manual labelled “Junior Operator Restrictions” found later in this chapter.

Non-CDL Class C - Minimum age is 18. Allows you to drive some vehicles with a GVWR and tow vehicle combinations up to 26,000 pounds (11,794 kg) that do not require a CDL endorsement.

Taxi/Livery, Class E - Minimum age is 18. Allows you to drive the same vehicles as a Class D license, and transport passengers for hire in a vehicle designed or used to carry 14 or fewer passengers. If the vehicle is defined as a bus under Article 19-A of the Vehicle and Traffic Law (e.g., a school car or a van that transports physically or mentally disabled persons), regardless of seating capacity, you must have a CDL.

Motorcycle, Class M - Minimum age is 18, or age 17 with a driver education Certificate of Completion (see Driver Education later in this chapter). Allows you to drive motorcycles and mopeds.

Junior Motorcycle, Class MJ - Minimum age is 16. Allows you to drive motorcycles and mopeds. You are also limited with where, when, and with whom you can drive – please refer to the section of this manual labelled “Junior Operator Restrictions” found later in this chapter.

Note: If you have a motorcycle license and another type of driver license, both classes will be listed on one document (e.g., “Class DM”).

Enhanced Driver License - Can be used for land and sea border crossings to and from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. This license can be used instead of a passport as an identity and Citizenship document at these crossings and for air travel within the U.S. This is an option for NYS residents who are U.S. citizens. Commercial driver licenses and motorcycle licenses can also be issued as an EDL.

Real ID License – The REAL ID Act is a federal law passed by Congress resulting from the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that establishes specific federal requirements for state-issued driver licenses, permits and ID cards to be acceptable for certain federal purposes. Beginning October 1, 2021, every air traveler flying within the United States will need to present a REAL ID or an Enhanced Driver License, or bring another acceptable form of identification, to be determined by the federal government, to get through security at U.S. airports. To get a REAL ID, you will need to go to a DMV Office.

Driver Education (To Change Your Class DJ or MJ License to Class D or M) - You can apply to change your junior driver license to a full license at age 17 if you received a Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285) from an approved driver education course. Present your Student Certificate of Completion at your road test, or apply at any motor vehicle office. Otherwise, your junior license will automatically become a full license when you become 18 years old and you do not need to apply for a license change.

Personal Use Vehicle (Rental, Recreational Vehicle) or “R” endorsement - The Personal Use Vehicle “R” endorsement is required for operation of recreational and/or rental vehicles used to transport personal household goods when the vehicle is over 26,000 pounds (11,794 kg.) GVWR and/or forty (40) feet in length. This endorsement is available to Class D and E license drivers.

To get an “R” endorsement: Submit a completed Application for Driver License or ID Card (MV-44) to a state or county motor vehicle office; pay a permit fee, which is valid for a maximum of two road tests; and pass a road test in the size and type of vehicle you will drive. No written test is required. For the road test, a driver who is at least 21 years old, with a license valid for the vehicle you will drive during the test, must accompany you. (e.g., a driver license with an “R” endorsement or the correct Commercial Driver License). The road test will take approximately 15 minutes and will include turns, intersections and backing the vehicle to the curb. When you pass the road test, you must go to a motor vehicle office and pay the required fee to complete the license amendment process.



When
You Apply for Your First License 

The information and required application forms you need to apply for a learner permit or driver license are available at any motor vehicle office. You can also download them from the DMV website. To apply for a learner permit or driver license you must complete an Application for Driver License (MV-44). You must pass a vision and written test and pay the application and license fees. Most drivers must also complete an approved 5-hour Pre-Licensing Course and pass a road test. For more information about how to apply for and receive a license to drive a motorcycle or a commercial vehicle that requires a CDL, refer to the Motorcycle Operator’s Manual (MV-21MC) or the Commercial Driver’s Manual (CDL-10).

You must bring your completed application to any motor vehicle office, show the required proof of name and date of birth, provide your Social Security card and pay the correct fee.

Your first New York driver license will be issued for a period not to exceed 5 years, on your month and day of birth. Your fee for a learner permit and license in Class D, DJ, M or MJ will be based on your age and date of birth.

Proof of Identity and Age

For your protection, DMV must be sure who you are. As part of the application, you must provide your Social Security card. You must present documents that prove your name and age. All proofs must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation. 

Proof of Name

Documents that prove your name are assigned a point value. You must present proofs that total six points or more. At least one of the proofs must have your signature. Examples of common proofs and their point values are listed below.

Each document below has a value of 6 points:

  • New York Photo Driver License/Permit/Non-Driver ID Card

Each document below has a value of 4 points:

  • If Under Age 21 — Statement of Identity by Parent/Guardian (MV-45) (see special instructions and requirements on the DMV form). Proof of date of birth and an original Social Security card are required for the applicant.
  • U.S. Passport, must be valid

Each document below has a value of 3 points:

  • Foreign passport - in English and with a U.S. Visa and valid I-9 or unexpired I-551 stamp or statement on visa. If the document is not in English, a certified translation by the embassy or consulate of the issuing country is required. See the publication Proofs of Identity (ID-44).
  • Valid U.S. Re-entry Permit (I-327)
  • Valid U.S. Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
  • Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization (N-550, N-560, N-561, N-570, N-578 or N-645)
  • Permanent Resident Identification Card (INS I-551)
  • Valid U.S. Employment Authorization Card (INS I-688B or I-766, with photo)
  • U.S. Military Photo Identification Card (issued to military personnel only)
  • NYS Medicaid/Benefit/Food Stamp Card, with photo (or, 2 points without photo)

Each document below has a value of 2 points:

  • Photo Driver License issued by another U.S. state, jurisdiction, territory or possession, or, a Canadian province or territory (must be in effect at least 6 months and not expired for more than 12 months)
  • U.S. Military Dependent Photo ID card
  • NYS DMV Non-Photo Interim License or Computer Generated Learner Permit
  • NYS Vehicle Certificate of Title
  • NYS Vehicle or Boat Registration Document
  • U.S. Social Security Card (must have your signature)
  • U.S. High School ID With Report Card
  • U.S. College ID With Photo and Transcript
  • U.S. Marriage or Divorce Record or Court-Issued Name Change Document
  • NYS Professional License
  • NYS or New York City Pistol Permit
  • St. Regis Mohawk Tribe identification card

Each document below has a value of 1 point:

  • Valid U.S. Major Credit Card, or
  • U.S. Cash (ATM) Card (with pre-printed name and signature), or
  • U.S. Canceled Check (with your pre-printed name), or
  • U.S. Bank/Financial Institution Statement/Record
  • U.S. Employee Identification Card
  • U.S. Computerized Pay Stub (must include your name)
  • U.S. Supermarket Check Cashing Card (must have your pre-printed name and signature)
  • U.S. Insurance Policy (in effect at least two years)
  • U.S. Health Insurance Card/Prescription Card
  • U.S. Utility Bill (must have your name and address)
  • U.S. High School Diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
  • W-2 Form (must include Social Security Number)
  • U.S. Union Card
  • Veteran Universal Access Photo Identification Card

Vision and Written Tests

To pass the vision test, you must have 20/40 vision in at least one eye with or without corrective lenses. If you cannot pass this test or if you wear special lenses, contact a DMV Call Center for additional instruction.

The written test for a Class D, M, DJ, MJ or E license examines knowledge of the rules of the road, safe driving techniques, road signs and the laws about alcohol and drug use while driving. To pass the written test, you must correctly answer at least 14 of the 20 questions asked, but you must correctly answer two of the four questions about road signs. You can practice for the written test with the questions included in this Driver’s Manual and you can take practice quizzes.

If you require a motorcycle license, also study the Motorcycle Operator’s Manual (MV-21MC). There is a separate commercial driver license written test for a CDL Class A, B, or C. If you want to apply for a commercial driver license, also study the Commercial Driver Manual (CDL-10).

DMV station #1 computer monitor

Automated Knowledge Test  

Class D knowledge tests are offered in multiple languages and can be taken via touch screen test stations or on paper. Practice tests are available on our website.


Online Knowledge Test Application

Before you apply for a learner permit, students who are at least age 15 can take the written test through the DMV Online Knowledge Test Application (OKTA) program. The test is given at participating high schools across New York State. The test is given in an easy-to-use format and is offered in English and Spanish.

It is not necessary for schools that participate to have a driver education program. They must provide a personal computer with Internet access, a printer and at least one staff person to monitor the tests. The OKTA program automatically scores each test and displays the results for the student on the computer screen.

Students who pass the test online will receive a receipt, instructions and all required forms to apply for a learner permit. Students who are at least age 16 can bring their receipt and completed forms to any state or county motor vehicle office to apply for a learner permit. Students who fail the test can take it again online as many times as the school allows.



The Learner Permit and Road Test

The Learner Permit

When you pass the vision and written tests and pay your fees, your learner permit will be issued and you can start to learn to drive. When you practice, you must be supervised by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old, has a license valid for the type of vehicle you are driving, and is seated in the front seat with you when you are driving. New York State also has additional restrictions that apply to drivers under the age of 18. Based on the Graduated Driver Licensing laws, if you have a DJ Learner Permit you are restricted to where, when, and whom can be in the car with you when you drive. These restrictions are based on where you are driving and are best explained below:

Regional Restrictions for Junior License

New York City (5 Boroughs)

5AM – 9PM
You must drive only under the immediate supervision of your:

1. Parent
2. Guardian
3. Person “in loco parentis”
4. Driver Education Teacher
5. Driving School Instructor

Those listed above must be age 21 or older and have a license valid for the vehicle being driven.
Vehicle must have dual controls (dual brakes).


9PM – 5AM

You must NOT drive.



Long Island (Nassau & Suffolk)
5AM – 9PM

You must drive only under the immediate supervision of your:
1. Parent
2. Guardian
3. Person “in loco parentis”
4. Driver Education Teacher
5. Driving School Instructor; or
6. Anyone who has been designated in writing by the parent, guardian, or person “in loco parentis”.

Those listed above must be age 21 or older and have a license valid for the vehicle being driven.


9PM – 5AM

You must NOT drive.



Upstate (All Other Counties)
5AM – 9PM

You must drive only under the immediate supervision of:
A person who is age 21 or older and has a license valid for the vehicle being driven.


9PM – 5AM

You must drive only under the immediate supervision of your:
1. Parent
2. Guardian
3. Person “in loco parentis”
4. Driver Education Teacher
5. Driving School Instructor
Those listed above must be age 21 or older and have a license valid for the vehicle being driven.

 

The restrictions for drivers with learner permits are also available at state or county motor vehicle offices or online as “Important Information About Learners’ Permits” (MV-500H).


Definitions (For the purpose of this section of the manual)


PROPERLY LICENSED” means has a license valid in this state to drive the type of vehicle being driven by the new or junior driver.

GUARDIAN” means a person who has, on a regular and extended basis, assumed the character of a parent and discharges parental duties as the result of a court appointment.
IN LOCO PARENTIS” means a person who assumes the role of a parent for the purpose of performing parental duties with the implied or actual consent of a parent (e.g. as a result of the death, incapacity, or in the absence, of a parent).

SCHOOL COURSE” means instruction that is licensed or approved by a state agency or department, or training conducted by the U.S. Armed Forces. The term “school course” does NOT include activities or events for which no scholastic credits are given.

EMPLOYMENT” means a place of business at which you are paid to work on a scheduled basis. You cannot drive during work or as part of your work duties.

WORK STUDY PROGRAM” means a state-approved work-study program. For example, a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) course for which academic credit is granted for work experience.

MEDICAL APPOINTMENT” means medical treatment that is necessary for you or a member of your household.

DAYCARE” applies to travel to and from child care if the attendance of the child is necessary for a family member to maintain employment or attend a school course.

General Rules for All Drivers with Learner Permits

If you hold a learner permit, you cannot drive:
  • Unless you are accompanied by a supervising driver who is at least age 21 and has a license to operate the vehicle you are driving. In Long Island and New York City, this person must be a parent, guardian or driving instructor. For example, a person with a motorcycle license can supervise a motorcycle learner.
  • In a DMV road test area.
  • On any street within a park in New York City or any bridge or tunnel under the jurisdiction of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.
  • On the Cross County, Hutchinson River, Saw Mill River, or Taconic State parkways in Westchester County.

Driving with a Junior Learner Permit

Preparing for the Road Test

Safe drivers often find their amount of practice before the road test makes a positive difference. Before you take the test, it is important that you have had at least 50 hours of practice, with at least 15 hours after sunset. It is recommended that at least 10 hours of the supervised practice be in moderate to heavy traffic. Road tests are given on city streets, but you should practice on expressways and other types of highways as well. DMV suggests you take a high school or college driver education course or lessons from a DMV-licensed driving school. If you cannot take a course or lessons, have the person who teaches you read Parts 2 and 3 of this manual.

You cannot practice in a DMV road test area or on any restricted roads. In New York City, these areas include any street within a park and all bridges and tunnels under the jurisdiction of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. In Westchester County, the streets and roadways you cannot practice on include these parkways: Cross County, Hutchinson River, Saw Mill River and Taconic State.

Safe Driving Course Requirement

Before you can make a road test appointment, you must first complete an approved safe driver course. This requirement is automatically fulfilled as part of every high school or college driver education course. Or you can complete this requirement when you take a special Pre-Licensing course available at most licensed driving schools. When you complete the course, you will receive a certificate to show when you make your road test appointment. The certificate is valid for one year.

Note: A defensive driving course, taught through the DMV-certified Point/Insurance Reduction Program, and/or completion of any online driver training program do NOT qualify as the required Pre-Licensing course.

Driver Education

If you are 17, you are eligible for a senior driver license (Class D or M) if you have a junior driver license and have completed a state-approved high school or college driver education course. To change your junior license to a senior license, bring your junior license and the Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285) that you received from your instructor to any motor vehicle office. You must return your certificate and junior license to receive the senior license. If you do not change your junior license to a senior license, you are subject to the restrictions for junior drivers until you are age 18, even if you carry the completion certificate with you. You can also give your certificate with your junior permit to the license examiner at your road test. You will automatically receive a senior license when you become eligible.

For Junior Drivers with Permits

Your permit must be valid for a minimum of six months in order to take the road test. When you pass the road test, you will be issued a Junior License (Class DJ or MJ). See “Regional Restrictions for a Junior License.”

A DMV motor vehicle license examiner will conduct the road test. You must give the license examiner your photo learner permit, your 5-hour pre-licensing course completion certificate (MV-278) or your Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285) and a completed Certification of Supervised Driving (MV-262). All junior drivers with permits are required to present a completed MV-262 at the time of the road test.

Print copies are available at any motor vehicle office. With this statement, your parent or guardian certifies that you completed at least 50 hours of practice driving, including at least 15 hours after sunset, with an appropriate supervising driver (See “Regional Restrictions for a Junior Permit” later in this chapter).

You must bring a vehicle to drive during the road test. The vehicle must be correctly registered, inspected, insured and equipped, and in good working order. This includes doors and seat belts. The passenger side seat belt must be available and clean for use by the examiner. If you drive to the road test site, you must also bring a supervising driver who is at least 21 and holds a license valid for the vehicle you will drive during the road test. Motorcycle applicants must bring a car or truck and a licensed driver to transport the license examiner during the test.

For All Other Drivers with Permits

When you take your road test, you must give the license examiner your photo learner permit, your 5-hour pre-licensing course completion certificate (MV-278) or your Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285). As described for “Junior Drivers with Permits,” you must also provide a vehicle to drive during the road test and a correctly licensed driver.

The Road Test

After you have completed the Safe Driving Course Requirement, and you feel you are ready for your road test, you can schedule your road test appointment using the Road Test Scheduling System online or by telephone at 1-518-402-2100. You must have your Pre-Licensing Course Completion Certificate (MV-278) or driver education course Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285) before you schedule your appointment. When scheduling your appointment, you will need to have your Learner Permit and Safe Driving Course certificate (MV-278 or MV-285) with you.

The DMV can cancel road tests because of bad weather. Check the website for any cancellation information.

After the Road Test

When you qualify for a non-commercial license Class D, DJ, E, M or MJ, the examiner will issue you a printed receipt. This receipt plus your photo learner permit will be a temporary driver license valid for 90 days. Your new photo license will arrive in the mail within three to five weeks.

At the conclusion of the road test, the Examiner will issue you a receipt of your test results. Any errors you made will be listed on the receipt. Please follow the Examiner’s instructions, if any.

When you qualify for a license, you must continue to be careful and obey the traffic laws to gain experience as a capable driver. Many motorists enroll in a DMV-certified Accident Prevention Course to help them gain knowledge of safe driving practices and important highway safety issues. This course, commonly known as the Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP), is available through private companies or corporations in New York State.

The course is available as a classroom course or online (called I-PIRP) and reviews time-tested safe driving tips and provides a summary of the vehicle and traffic laws. If you are eligible for point reduction, as many as four (4) points can be reduced from your driving record. (For more information on the point system, see The Point System in Chapter 2.) You can complete this course every 18 months for the purpose of point reduction. You can also qualify for a minimum 10% reduction in the base rate of liability and collision insurance premiums for three years. More information regarding the Point and Insurance Reduction Program, including lists of sponsors approved to provide this course, is available on the website.



Junior Operator Restrictions

Driving with a Junior License

New York State also has additional restrictions that apply to drivers under the age of 18. Based on the Graduated Driver Licensing laws, if you have a Class DJ Driver License (also known as a Junior Operator License) you are restricted to where and when and who can be in the car with you when you drive. These restrictions are based on where you are driving and are best explained below:

Regional Restrictions for Junior Permit


New York City (5 Boroughs)
5AM – 9PM

You must NOT drive.


9PM – 5AM

You must NOT drive.



Long Island (Nassau & Suffolk)
5AM – 9PM

You may drive alone only directly between your home and employment, a work-study program, a course at a college, university, or registered evening high school, a driver education course, or while engaged in farm employment.

You may drive when accompanied by your licensed parent, guardian, person “in loco parentis”, driver education teacher, or driving school instructor.


9PM – 5AM

You may drive alone only directly between your home and a work-study program, a course at a college, university, or registered evening high school, a driver education course, or while engaged in farm employment.

 

Upstate (All Other Counties)
5AM – 9PM

You may drive without being accompanied.


9PM – 5AM

You may drive alone only directly between your home and employment or a school course.

All other driving must be accompanied by your licensed parent, guardian, or person “in loco parentis”.

 

Driving Alone with a Junior License

Important information if you hold a Junior License in the counties of Nassau or Suffolk:

You can drive by yourself between home and your employment, which can include farm work, if you carry the correct proof of employment. Your employer can complete a Certificate of Employment (MV-58A). Print copies are available at local motor vehicle offices. In the upstate counties only, instead of an employment certificate, you can carry a letter from your employer. The letter must be marked with a date and signed by your employer, and must show the business name, address and telephone number where you work.

It also must list your name, date of birth, driver license number, job description, and days, hours and location of employment. The address and telephone number at which the employer can be contacted must be included for verification by a magistrate or police officer.

When you drive by yourself between your home and a qualified school course or approved work-study program, you must carry proof of enrollment. This must be a letter, marked with a date and signed by an appropriate school or program official, on the school or program letterhead. It must include the address and telephone number of the official for verification by a magistrate or police officer. The letter also must include the date(s), hour(s) and location(s) of the school course or program activity, your name, date of birth, and driver license number.

Motorcyclists and Moped Operators

The restrictions in this manual also apply to operating a motorcycle or moped. Your learner permit or junior license (Class M or MJ) does not allow you to carry any passenger except your supervising driver. Your supervising driver must have a driver license valid to operate the same class motorcycle or moped you are driving, and must exercise general supervision and control by remaining within one-quarter mile. It is strongly recommended that your supervising driver be able to see you at all times.

NYS Drivers Visiting Other States

You can drive outside New York State with your learner permit, junior learner permit or junior license if it is allowed by the laws of the other state. You must obey that state’s permit, junior permit and driver license restrictions that may apply. Ask the police or motor vehicle authorities in the state you are visiting.

Change of Address

 If you change your address you must notify DMV within 10 days by mail, on a Change-of-Address Form (MV-232), or online through  MyDMV. You must write the new address in the space provided on the back of your driver license.

License Renewal

You are responsible to know when your driver license expires and to renew it on time. If the DMV has your current address, you should receive a renewal notice and instructions in the mail approximately 45 days before your license expires. If you do not receive the notice, you can apply for renewal at a motor vehicle office. You can renew your license up to one year before its printed expiration date.

Beginning October 1, 2021, the federal government will require your driver license, permit or ID card to be REAL ID compliant if you wish to use it as identification to board a domestic flight (within the U.S.), or enter military bases and certain federal facilities. You may also use an Enhanced driver license, permit, or non-driver ID or valid U.S. Passport or other identification acceptable to the federal government. To get a REAL ID, you will need to go to a DMV Office on or after October 30, 2017. You cannot get a REAL ID online, by phone, or through the mail. 

To get a Real ID you MUST bring to the office the following original or certified proof documents:

  • Proof of identity.
  • Proof of Social Security Number or Social Security Number ineligibility.
  • Proof of your date of birth.
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residency or temporary lawful status in the U.S.
  • Two proofs of New York State residence such as utility bill or mortgage statement (P.O. Box not acceptable). This address will be displayed on your card.
  • The application process also requires the DMV to take a new photo.

If you decide you do not want a REAL ID or Enhanced document, your license most likely can be renewed through the mail or online, but be advised that any license, permit or ID card issued after October 30, 2017 will be marked “Not for Federal Purposes”.  If you renew by mail or online you must prove you have passed a vision test within the past six months or within one year as determined by a licensed health care professional before the date you renew your license. To renew by mail, you must return to the DMV your renewal application and a completed Vision Test Report (MV-619) which documents that you passed the vision test. If you renew online, you will need information from the completed Eye Test Report by your health care professional. Print copies are available at any motor vehicle office. Make sure to renew early if your license will expire while you are out of state. If you cannot renew early or a serious illness prevents you from doing so, contact a DMV Call Center.

If you enter military service, your license can be automatically extended throughout your active service and for six months after discharge. You must notify the department within 60 days of the entry date into service. You must submit the form, Notification of Military Service (MV-75). Print copies are available at any motor vehicle office.



Non-Resident and New Resident Drivers

If you are a resident of another state or country and hold a valid driver license there, you can legally drive in New York State. You should not apply for a New York driver license unless you become a resident of this state. Then, to remain legally licensed, you must apply for a New York driver license within 30 days after you establish you are a New York State resident.

If you are a new resident with a valid driver license issued by a U.S. state, territory or possession, or a Canadian province or territory, you must turn in your out-of-state license to get a New York driver license. You must show additional proof of name and date of birth (see “Applying for your First License”), and provide your Social Security card. You must pass the vision test. If your out-of-state license has been valid for less than six months or had expired more than one year ago, you must also pass the written and road tests and complete the safe driving course.

If you are a new resident licensed in a country other than Canada, you must pass the vision test, complete the safe driving course, turn in your foreign license, and you must pass a written and road test. When you pass the road test, you must give your foreign license to the DMV motor vehicle license examiner who conducted the test. Your foreign driver license will be destroyed unless you provide the examiner a written request to hold your foreign license on file at a New York State Department of Motor Vehicles office. The license examiner will tell you which DMV District Office will hold your foreign license. Your foreign license will be returned at your request, but only after you return your New York license.

Drivers from Outside New York State

If you are under age 18 and hold a learner permit, junior permit or junior driver license from outside New York State, you must obey the restrictions described in this publication as well as the restrictions from your home state. Make sure your permit or license is valid to drive outside your home state before you operate a vehicle in New York. If you are younger than 16, you cannot drive in New York State even if you have an out-of-state license.


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